United Arab Emirates / Abu Dhabi / Al Rowda / Jigsaw Nursery Abu Dhabi

Jigsaw Nursery Abu Dhabi Experience

Jigsaw Nursery Abu Dhabi is a private nursery for children aged between 45 days and 4 years of age. It is located in the Al Karama area (though officially in Al Rowda) near the corner of Delma Street and Karama Street. The nursery follows the UK Early Years curriculum.
At a glance
School type
School phase
Inspection rating
No rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2022/23
No data
Availability 2023/24
No data
Annual fee average
AED 19,000* help
Price band help
Opening year
School year
Sep to Jul
Miss Leanne Bell
Al Najah Education
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom

Nearby schools

0.3km   •  All through school
0.8km   •  All through school
1km   •  All through school
1.1km   •  All through school
1.1km   •  All through school
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Review Visit: 02/02/2023

Tucked away on a quiet residential street in Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen neighbourhood lies a little haven of nurturing early childhood practice, a home from home for some very happy children. This is Jigsaw Nursery, an unassuming little setting that provides a wonderfully warm and child-centered early learning experience that parents and children seem to love. 

Our reviewer visited on a regular Thursday morning, arriving at around 8:30am. Parking outside the nursery was easy at this time, although Nursery Manager, Ms Leanne Bell, explained that most children arrive before 8:00am, and parking can indeed get a little tight. It’s no problem though, Ms Bell gently explained, as the staff will happily come outside to meet families at their cars, and take the child in. This is clearly a nursery that works around the child and family. 


Jigsaw Nursery is owned by Al Najah Education, an international education group with schools and nurseries in the UAE, Singapore, Oman and Malaysia. Jigsaw Nursery is currently the group's only nursery in the UAE. 

Nursery Manager, Ms Leanne Bell, has lead Jigsaw Nursery since 2017, and has a further six years of experience in nursery management prior to this. Ms Bell holds a bachelor’s degree in Childhood and Youth Studies as well as vocational qualifications in early childhood practice. 

Nursery Manager, Ms Leanne Bell

As our reviewer spoke to Ms Bell, her extensive experience in this field was immediately evident. Her pride in the nursery also shone through as she humbly talked about her team’s journey to receiving the rating of ‘Outstanding’ from local education regulator, ADEK. 

What we found particularly impressive though, was the warm and personal relationships that Ms Bell appears to have with each parent. She is clearly an authority on early childhood, however it is perhaps her approachability and willingness to listen to how parents are feeling and what they think that has the greatest impact on the trust this community has in the nursery. 


Jigsaw Nursery is located in a converted villa, with eight classrooms, a spacious and recently renovated indoor gym, two shared indoor play spaces and a large outdoor play area. The building itself is a little worn, with creaky doors and a few scuff marks on walls, but it is certainly adequate to provide a supportive and homely environment. 

One of the nursery's shared play spaces

Classrooms are cosy, and with relatively small class sizes, they provide enough space for the children to play, explore and move. Classrooms are decorated and arranged with the children in mind, showcasing the children’s work and providing corners for group and individual activities. This is not an ‘image-conscious’ nursery with Instagram-able décor, it is very much a space for children to feel uninhibited and at home. Our reviewer appreciated the setting’s approach in this regard. 

The nursery’s outdoor space has recently been re-floored, and provides an enticing environment for climbing, jumping, crawling and sliding. For a relatively small nursery, the outdoor play space is generous, and likely adds a lot to the children’s enjoyment of their time there. 

The nursery's newly renovated indoor gym

Inside the Classrooms

Our reviewer observed an FS1 class (3 – 4-year-olds) and a nursery class (2 – 3-year-olds) during the visit. While the activities the children were taking part in were not unusual (a group story time, music and movement session, sensory play opportunities), the warmth and genuine connection between the adults and children was truly outstanding. It was clear that in both of these classes, the nursery teachers and assistants had meaningful relationships with each child. Every one of the children our reviewer came across appeared comfortable and confident, and engaged in the activities they chose to participate in. 

Meeting the Parents

Our reviewer had the opportunity to talk to two parents whose children attend Jigsaw Nursery. These two Mums spoke of their anxiety when first looking for a nursery, during the pandemic. When asked what the main factor was that led them to choosing Jigsaw, their answer was the same: it was because of the nursery manager. 

“She's so warm. She's so friendly. She was so professional when dealing with my questions at the beginning, and I had so many questions. She’d always get back to me quickly. This gave me a feeling that I can leave my son and not feel worried. Her attitude and her behaviour is the reason I sent my son here.”

The teachers were a key factor in their decisions also:

“When I met my son’s teacher for the first time, I could see that she's caring and professional. And I was right to think this. What I always liked is that we can work together, she doesn’t hide anything from me. She guides me on what to work on with him at home and tells me what they’re doing at nursery. In terms of supporting his learning, she is very good.”

One side of the nursery's playground

Our View

Jigsaw Nursery may not be the biggest or the flashiest, it may not have the most stylish décor, but it really does have a whole lot of heart and provides a truly nurturing environment for children to learn and grow. In terms of child wellbeing, this nursery is one of the best we’ve seen in a long time.

Partnerships with parents appear to be excellent, with staff and families working together in the best interests of the child and communicating daily. There is a feeling of children being dropped off to be cared for by a trusted family member, rather than a service provider, although the nursery can still boast having a great standard of early learning materials and play facilities. We can see why families love this little diamond of a nursery, as it offers something truly special indeed.

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